Election diary part 3: Phoney war

 

First day back after holiday. News editor greets me by saying everyone is bored of the election already. Hard to argue. How can we make it more interesting?

I suggest we stage our own version of Gogglebox, filming Plymouth families watching the televised leaders’ debates. Seems to go down well.

Messages flying back and forth with candidates and their agents. A press release arrives from Tory MP Johnny Mercer. Says he is “standing in Plymouth Moor View against Corbyn’s North London Labour”. Strange turn of phrase.

Much mystery surrounds the identity of Labour’s candidate to challenge Mercer. Councillor Sue Dann is revealed as the winner from an all-woman shortlist.

Photo call with Pollard and Dann on the Hoe. Drizzling and cold. I ask them both whether Corbyn is the best person to be Prime Minister. They insist people in Plymouth are more interested in local candidates.

Arrange to meet with a Labour source. Text message comes in: “We need a strong and stable interview in the national interest”.

Arrange to meet with a Conservative source. We stand in a lift, he hands me a crumpled piece of paper and leaves.

Roll on June 9th.

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